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Cruel and Unusual Punishment

By
"Left. Right. Left. Right."
I concentrated solely on my feet, as I ran. I was holding so tightly onto the sidebars on the treadmill that my knuckles were white.
I was trying my hardest to keep myself going. I had been running for a while now, but I wasn’t exactly how sure. I could have checked the clock that timed my running that was attached to the treadmill, but I thought seeing the time would just make me even more tired.
But, no matter what I did, I had to keep running. My life depended on it for goodness sake!
My side was hurting badly, but I just couldn’t stop.
You know how a treadmill works, right? There are buttons that speed it up, slow it down, and turn it off, right? Yeah, well, there wasn’t any of that on this one.
Instead, there was a timer that showed how long I had been running and a button that only made the treadmill go faster. Besides that, there was absolutely nothing. And, then, you know how there are usually plastic parts or something surrounding the part you run on, you know the part that some people stand on while the treadmill keeps moving? Well, those weren’t there either.
Nope, my options were to keep running or to fall off the treadmill.
So, you ask why I wouldn’t just fall off the treadmill. Ha, real funny. Yeah, I wished more than anything that I could fall off. Sadly, if I did that, I would fall into a pool of hungry sharks and piranhas. Yeah, you heard me, hungry sharks and piranhas.
Now, I know what you’re going to ask. Why the heck am I running on a treadmill that can’t stop suspended over a pool of sharks and piranhas that want some dinner?
Oh, don’t worry, I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you in four words. Cruel and unusual punishment.
Yes, yes, I know. Who the heck would punish someone this way? Don’t worry, I asked the same question. But, like you will get from me, I didn’t get much of an answer from that evil thing that did this to me.
Why do I say thing? Because anyone who could do this to another person isn’t human, that’s why! Geez.
So, anyway, I asked it, and it said that it was fun to watch me suffer. Can you believe that? Fun! Seriously, how demented can you get?
Anyway, I guess you want to know how I could supposedly deserve such punishment. Well, how’s this, I didn’t deserve it!
It wanted to test this punishment out, and I was the first person to pass by, so I was the lucky contestant! Yay for me! (Insert sarcasm.)
So, there I was, fighting for my life, so some creep could be entertained. I felt like a lab rat, except worse.
And, I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to just stop running, even if dying would be my fate.
Plus, that thing was playing this really annoying classical music over and over. It was enough to drive anyone crazy.
But, I persevered, I kept running. The worst part, though, was the fact that I wasn’t sure if that thin would ever let me stop. Was I supposed to keep running until my legs gave out? It seemed like a lose-lose situation for me.
Then, its voice filled the room.
“Having fun?” Its deep voice boomed.
“Tons.” I gasped sarcastically.
It began to laugh then. Its laugh was really loud and annoying. Plus, it lasted forever because off the echo off the stone walls.
“It wasn’t that funny.” I wheezed.
“I wasn’t laughing at that. I just love watching you run.”
I rolled my eyes.
There was silence for about five more minutes.
“Getting tired?” It asked.
I didn’t say a word. Maybe if I didn’t talk, he’d let me stop, or at least leave me alone.
“I see. The silent treatment, eh? Well, how about you run faster then?”
Suddenly, the treadmill started moving faster, and I really had to pick up the pace.
What? Oh, didn’t I mention that he could speed the treadmill up to?
“How’s that?”
I still didn’t speak. If he was going to speed it up until I did fall off, at least I would die strong.
“Faster then? Okay.”
Once again, the treadmill began going faster. I could barely keep up. But, it wanted me to beg for it to slow the treadmill down, and I wasn’t going to give it that pleasure.
“Speak to me!” It demanded.
The treadmill got faster, but I was ready and kept going without faltering one little bit.
I pictured the angry look on his face and smiled. I was the one having fun now.
“Are you having fun, you little wench? Well, let’s see how much fun you have now.”
The treadmill went twice as fast, and I wasn’t expecting it that time. My foot caught, and I fell flat on my face.
I felt myself moving backwards, and tried desperately to grab onto something. I almost grabbed hold of the bar holding the handles I had been holding a moment ago upright, but I was too late.
The next moment, I was several inches away from the treadmill. The world seemed to move slowly around me.
Since I was facing down, I could see the sharks circling at a snail’s pace below me. Some were taking their time opening and closing their mouths. I felt my stomach sink.
I could barely tell that I was moving downward. But, still, it was apparent that I was getting closer to my death.
I took one last deep breath.
“You lose!” I screamed as loud as I could to the thing.
Then, with a smile, I hit the water.
My stomach stung from the terrible belly flop that I had just accomplished. I opened my eyes a little. I was floating on the top of the water, my head underwater.
I saw the water around my face was tinged red. The impact had given me a nosebleed.
I felt a pull on my leg, and I thought only one thing. "Let the feeding frenzy begin."





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